Watches are becoming a rarer sight these days, with all the connected devices we are equipped with, we may no longer need them to know the time. Rid of their purely utilitarian function, watches are becoming objects of luxury and refined pleasure, the complications of which Switzerland has been developing since the 16th century.
Since 1991, the Watches and Wonders show in Geneva has welcomed the greatest masters of watchmaking. The novelties they present each year are among the most coveted in the world. You often have to join long waiting lists to get your own, which often becomes a heritage object. Here is the selection of our editorial staff.
A. LANGE & SÖHNE, the mechanical/digital wonder
A. LANGE & SÖHNE is a historic brand that remained hidden behind the Berlin Wall before it fell in 1989. A. LANGE & SÖHNE’s Zeitwerk is the first watch to combine mechanical complexity with a digital display. The hours on the left, the minutes on the right, are displayed through numbers operated by a powerful spring. At the top, a gauge indicates the winding reserve. At the bottom, you find the seconds hand. On its tenth anniversary, Lange’s Zeitwerk welcomes a another sibling, featuring a newly developed movement and an additional function. We love its white gold version, the grey dial and chocolate crocodile strap.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN, an avant-garde aesthetic
Did you know that the Maltese cross, emblem of Vacheron Constantin, is in fact inspired by a piece of the mechanism that controls the spring? Founded in 1755, the famous watch manufacturer regularly delves into its archives to stay true to its DNA while constantly renewing it. One of our favorites this season is the Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date. Obeying the “less is more” principle established by the Bauhaus, its originality lies in the hand mechanism that also governs the days and weeks. Its discreet elegance reflects an avant-garde aesthetic.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE, Art Deco, enamel and diamonds
A golden rectangle is a geometrical form in which, if you cut out a square whose sides are the same length as the smallest side of the rectangle, the remaining rectangle has the same proportions as the original. This is the aesthetic secret of Jaeger Lecoultre’s famous Reverso, which has continued to fascinate collectors since its creation in 1931. Among the three new models in the JAEGER-LECOULTRE Reverso Tribute collection, how can you not be amazed by The Reverso One Precious Colours? It is offered in two eye-catching colour variations: its entire case is adorned with a geometric Art Deco pattern of enamel and diamonds in a boldly original execution of the art of grand feu enamel.
JACOB & CO, seeing through time
With its mirrored gold case back, the mechanism that can be seen through the case, its jewel-like details, its precious stones and its incredible precision, the Astronomia Revolution watch from Jacob & Co is a horological marvel that turns around its own axis in one minute. Housed in a sculptural 47mm sapphire and gold case, it is powered by a brand-new movement that is so hypnotic you can’t take your eyes off it.
Zero Oxygen by MONTBLANC, the boldest
Anyone who prepares to reach the top knows that he or she must be prepared for a difficult journey, full of surprises, and they might expect to run out of oxygen. Montblanc, whose founding product is a famous pen that doesn’t leak at altitude and that’s marked with a white six-pointed star (the six glacial valleys of Montblanc), entered the watch business in the early 1980s. The Zero Oxygen watch, all parts of which are assembled in a zero-oxygen environment, is presented this year in four new designs: The 8000 Capsule Collection. The back of the watch is engraved with the 14 highest peaks in the world (all over 8,000 meters).
PIAGET, the most arty
Piaget’s 1960s and 70s timepieces were thrilling contemporary objects of desire for the jet set as they daringly fused watch, jewellery, fashion and contemporary design. Head to the Society Bar in Piaget’s booth at Watches & Wonders. Here, in the Bar area, Piaget showcases a private collection of 10 bespoke Warhol-inspired watches, one of the artist’s favourite Piaget possessions. The distinctive rounded-square gold cases are ornamented with gadroons, framing dials with various ornamental stones: rust-red moss agate, striated forest-green jasper, and sky-blue turquoise, from the celebrated Sleeping Beauty mine.
PARMIGIANI FLEURIER, the purest
Through world premieres, a celebration of platinum and an exceptional trilogy, Parmigiani Fleurier is breaking new ground. Rarity, meaning, form and content being at the core of its creative process, the exclusive watchmaker only invents new horological complications to ensure user friendliness. The brand’s high impact new releases are three designs of the iconic Tonda watch: the TONDA PF Minute Rattrapante with augmented features, a new platinum version of the TONDA PF Micro-Rotor and a revisited TONDA PF Tourbillon with a platinum dial tinged with Milano blue.
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